Be Careful

If you are a new teacher doing Circling with Balls right now, be careful. You may not be going SLOW-Li enough. You probably aren’t. You know that you are going too fast if even one single kid in your class doesn’t understand. It is your job to make sure that they all understand. Tell them that.
Say that if they don’t understand, then it’s your fault, but that they have to do their 50% by showing you (fist slam move into flat hand or peace sign or however you do that). Again, please know that, if the comprehensible input that you are delivering to your students is confusing to them. it is because you are going too fast and you need to slow down.
It is not because the method doesn’t work and it is not because the kids don’t have the ability to understand you. It is because you are going too fast and you need to slow down or lose the class for the rest of the year, which might lead to you going back to the book, and we know that if you are reading this blog that that is the last thing you want to do.
Today I said to them, “My job is to guarantee your success first and teach you French second. I take my job very seriously, and I will be constantly walking around this room checking to see if you are involved with what I am saying. I can tell every time I look in your eyes if we are both working well together. You MUST let me know if I am going too fast. I will grade mainly according to what I see in your eyes in class.”



2 thoughts on “Be Careful”

  1. I definitely agree. You really have to pay attention to your students and demand that as soon as you say something that they don’t understand, they tell you. At times, I just feel like I am repeating myself over and over like a broken record, but it’s what my students need. Sometimes, I get so excited and just want to plow through, but I have to constantly remember SLOW and then when I think I’m going slow enough, even SLOWER.
    We’ve been in school for 3 days and so far we have only discussed about 3-4 students, their likes and interests. I have not touched a textbook, done a pretest, given homework, and it feels so liberating. I can let the language flow and just know that my students are acquiring. Even though I’m new at this, I can’t ever see myself going back to the textbook.

  2. Right on Angela. Kudos for slowing down and repeating it more when it felt like you had said it enough. It took me a very long time – many years – to get that, and I’m still working on it. Right on!

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